Standing at 6’8” and weighing almost 120kg, PFL heavyweight star Renan Ferreira walks into a room and people take notice.
Ferreira, 33, competes in the biggest fight of his life this Friday as he can win $1million if he beats Denis Goltsov at the PFL World Championships in Washington, DC. The fight is the accumulation of over a decade of hard work for the Brazilian, who ditched his past jobs as a private security guard and construction worker to pursue a full-time fighting career.
“I did a lot of work for about 10 years in private security, I also did some construction work in the beginning of my career," Ferreira told Mirror Fighting. “I started training jiu-jitsu back in 2013 at a social project for low-income kids in my city of Brasilia. When I moved to Rio De Janeiro three years later, that’s when I left all those jobs behind and focused solely on MMA.
Who wins this Friday - Renan Ferreira or Denis Goltsov? Let us know your prediction in the comments section below
The Brazilian's staggering height, former job in security and martial arts experience meant he rarely encountered trouble but on the rare occasion sometimes those bold enough and looking to prove a point did try their luck. "There’s a lot of people throughout my life that have an extra drink and want to test themselves against the big guy," he added.
"It usually doesn’t end up the right way for them, I once had a super skinny guy who wanted to give it a shot at beating me up. Next thing you know I was holding him by the head while he was kicking and screaming like a little kid with his feet dangling from the ground, it’s stuff like that which puts a smile on my face.”
Ferreira's move to the often-confused Brazilian capital proved to be the catalyst for his cage career, as he started training at the gym of MMA legends Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Ferreira's time at the gym also saw him mix with the likes of former UFC stars Jacare Souza and Junior Dos Santos.
A win against Goltsov will not only bank Ferreira a seven-figure sum, but it could also set him up with the opportunity of serving as the opponent for former UFC champion Francis Ngannou's PFL debut. "That's part of the plan, I am focused on winning on the $1million and then I'd love to welcome him into the PFL," he said.
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